The 29thannual Gatlinburg Scottish Festival is a lot more than just a 2-½ day runner up to the week long Grandfather Mountain Highland Games held July 8-11, on Grandfather Mountain near Linville, NC.
The Gatlinburg, Tennessee games, held May 14-16, 2010 at Mills Park, 1230 E. Parkway, on the northeast side of Gatlinburg, spotlights Celtic Scottish history, culture, and events. My family has attended a few times in the past five years, and one of my previous East Tennessee Smoky Mountains Bed and Breakfast guests, Roger Underwood, plays in the Knoxville Pipes and Drums which just appeared in the Dollywood International Parade. He generously provided the photos for this blog.
The bag pipers lead off the festivities at 6 p.m., on Friday, May 14th, with a parade down the Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg. If you are a Scot, you may walk behind or follow in a trolley. A gala reception follows at the Quality Inn Creekside.
For a small admission, events start at 8:30 a.m. at Mills Park both Saturday and Sunday. Highlights for my family have always been the Border Collie demonstrations, the Celtic rock bands, and the competitive sporting events. But, there are so many things going on, you can pick and choose. Visit with over 60 heritage and clan societies to assist in exploring your heritage. Be sure to stay for the Ceilidh Under the Stars, which starts at 7:30 p.m.
Center stage is a plethora of bagpipe bands. Click here for a U-Tube video of the Knoxville Pipe and Drum Band. Under tents and on stages, you will find Celtic punk bands, balladeers on guitars, and highland dancing. Sheep dog trials will be conducted twice daily. Men, women, and kids compete in both amateur and pro competitions for several stone putting games: braemar stone, open stone, heavy hammer, turning the caber, tossing the haggis, sheaf, WFH and heavy and light WFD. Vendors offer food, jewelry, books, music, and Scottish clothing. Visit www.gsfg.orgfor more information or call (865) 368-2543. Dress for the weather, no pets allowed, and consider staying at one of the many bed and breakfasts in the area! mizkathleen@ Gracehill Bed and Breakfast.
If you need to feel righteous about golfing while your beloved “makes do” with a massage and a half-day shopping the Pigeon Forge outlets, this is the event for you. For the eleventh year, Friends of the Mary E. Tippitt Memorial Library are hosting their Golf Tournament Benefit on Friday, April 23rd, 2010 at the Laurel Valley Golf Course in Townsend, Tennessee.
Proceeds from the tournament benefit the Library by helping fund the services that the Library provides to the community. (See below for the love story.) Registration for the golf tournament starts at 11:30 a.m., with lunch provided for the participants. The tournament starts at 1:00 p.m. Entry fee for players is $80, with an available $20 mulligan package. You can pick up forms at the Mary E. Tippitt Memorial Library, 120 Tiger Dr, Townsend, TN, at the Townsend Visitor Center on Highway 321, and the Laurel Valley Country Club.
In the past, a dozen or more teams of four players have enjoyed playing 18 holes at this beautiful mountain course. Cash prizes are awarded to the best team, closest to the hole, longest drive, and longest putt. This year a special plaque, which will be on display at the clubhouse, honors the winning team. Numerous door prizes and a new car, for a hole-in-one add to the day’s excitement. For more information call Mike Roach at (865) 448-8282. For hole sponsorship contact Judy Krueger at (865) 448-6501.
Don’t you just hate the e-mails you receive that say “You have to read to the end”? Well, I’m glad you did. In 1997, Charles Tippitt opened the Townsend library from scratch as a memorial tribute to his first wife Mary. He rented the space and filled it with 5000 books for adults and children. Over the years it has more than quadrupled in size and grown to a new location, and for a town our size, it is a marvel of information and activity including public access to computers and various children’s programs. Later Charles married Ms. Sue Ann Schlosser, a librarian from Sikeston, Missouri. Sikeston’s loss was our gain when Sue Ann relocated here. Our community has been doubly blessed. mizkathleen@ Gracehill Bed and Breakfast
At the Library and open to all, at 10 a.m. the third Thursday of each month is B.E.A.R. (Be Excited About Reading) Facts Book Club!Read More
While the Cades Cove loop road or Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail are big draws for our guests at this East Tennessee Bed and Breakfast, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is doing some needed repairs on these heavily trafficked roads starting March 1st, 2010. Roads affected and the targeted completion of these repairs are:
Cades Cove Loop (that will also close one-way Parsons Branch & Rich Mountain Rd) 5/21 (an update from the Park, the Loop Rd. will open a month early on 4/24!)
Clingman’s Dome 5/28
The Sinks parking area 5/25
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail 5/28
& Cherokee Orchard past the Noah B Ogle cabin 3/19
While these are some of the Park site seeing highlights, these closures will not affect normal “drive through” traffic on the artery roads. Trails accessed from the roads under repair will be closed also, but with 900 miles of trails in the Park, you have a plethora of choices to choose from. As always, for up to date information on closures call the National Park at 865-436-1200. Extension 631 will give you road closures, and extension 630 is the weather report.
So you might ask yourself WHAT IS A PERSON TO DO while we deal with the face lift? Jeepers, :-O not to worry! There are enough outdoor nature activities besides the shop till you drop experience in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge to keep you busy for a week. Or, why not order a picnic lunch or appetizer tray and stay here? Come to breakfast in your robe and curl up in front of the fireplace with a good book, game, or watch a little satellite TV afterwards.
Several years ago on New Years Eve, guests Craig and Ashley stayed here while their friends Allen and Jodi got married in the area. The next year they came back and brought Allen and Jodi with them, appearing to have become a yearly tradition. (Lucky me…) After breakfast on New Years Eve this year, Jodi dug a 1000 piece puzzle out of the game cabinet and said she thought she would put it together. This was the last full day of their stay and honestly I was thinking she is out of her mind. It would take me the whole three days of their stay just to pick out the straight edge pieces and get the perimeter put together. A few hours later I took the middle photo you see on the left. They broke for dinner and went out and about; afterwards, with the four of them watching TV, Jodi continued. Occasionally someone else would plunk in a piece. By midnight she was down to the last couple of hundred pieces and had the full attention of all of us. I think we/SHE finished around 2 or 3 AM. I believe the government is missing the boat by not offering her a job. (“Should she choose to accept…”) I can see her sitting in a room with no windows, low light, and piecing together something that saves us from ourselves. With five minutes to spare. What a gift. mizkathleen@ Gracehill
Keri and Tim Meeker, here at Gracehill Bed and Breakfast for four days on their 1st anniversary, ran the gamut of what Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Townsend, TN have to offer with one new activity, to me at any rate! They went ATV four wheeling with Bluff Mountain Adventures in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Bluff Mountain offers guided ATV Trail Rides at Walden Lodge on Bluff Mountain. Guests sign in at the ticket office on the parkway in Pigeon Forge, and then proceed down Wears Valley Road to Walden Creek and the site where they pick up their ATV. Keri and Tim did the hour and half tour that took them up the mountain, crossing streams, to get to the top of Bluff Mountain at 2300 feet. They said the company not only went out of their way to provide a safe yet scenic tour, they were very conscientious about the strengths and weaknesses of the group and tailor made the ride for them. Definitely an activity worth repeating as the Meeker’s gave it two thumbs up. The hot tub was waiting for them when they returned to the B&B. mizkathleen@ GracehillRead More
Sunday October 25th is the last day of Gatlinburg’s Craftsmen Fair at the Convention Center. One guest said it was a step above most fairs of its kind; she is in retail and should know! What is even more important, they made a lot of purchases for the holidays…
How do you go from the beginning of blueberry picking season to the middle of fall color without blogging about what is happening? Guess I was too much in the thick of it to stop and write about it, but okay no excuses. The good news is we have been incredibly busy. It has been a roller coaster of a year, but concerning occupancy we had our best July ever, came within two nights of breaking the August record, and this October is the best month we have had since we opened ten years ago.
Fall color is a little late this year which is good if you want to stay in my empty rooms this November! Had a long rainy season at the beginning and middle of October with cold temps. Warmed up the last few days with some sunshine, and the colors are just starting to snap. I’ll post a picture in the next couple of days taken from the top front veranda.
Have tried a number of new recipes in the last two months and have posted most of them on the recipe page of my website. Have added photos to 20 or more of the 40 some recipes. One of my new favorites is Cheese Enchiladas. A real pain in the neck to make but oh my gosh is it good.
Doing some more design work on my website, should be finished in a couple of days, hopefully. Mizkathleen
www.GracehillBandB.com info@GracehillBandB.com 866-448-3070
A year ago we won Best Pie in the Cove at the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center’s Blue Ribbon County Fair, so, I was a little excited about entering the fair this fall. Two of our recipes won ribbons, a third place finish in the pound cake division and surprisingly, a second place finish in the yeast bread category. I experimented on a Blueberry Almond Pound Cake for a year and my church is probably happy the fair is over because I must have brought it a half a dozen times to various potlucks. They’d ask, “What version is this?”
The Rosemary Feta Cheese Bread was a take off from a recipe in Southern Living. Originally it was made as a loaf of French bread but rules said I had to put it in a loaf pan so I made some more modifications. I wish I could have tasted every entry and picked the brains of the winners.
So, while we are on food… at the prompting of several guests, I took Mom to see Julie, Julia. Actually it was more along the lines of I can’t believe you haven’t seen this movie. What a wonderful film. Meryl Streep is just the absolute best. Walked out of the show and wanted to do some serious cooking. Thank you Julie Powell for perserverance. Mizkathleen
www.GracehillBandB.com info@GracehillBandB.com 865-448-3070
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